New Word Wednesday: German “Zeug” Words

This should probably just be my motto for Wednesday’s post… Source: http://honestyexperiment.com/2013/04/09/honesty-tip-if-someone-uses-a-word-you-dont-know/

One really fun thing about German is the way new words can be created by compounding them with other words. So for this lovely Wednesday, you get three new words, all with the same root!

 

Werkzeug noun, German

  • tool

Literally, “Werk” (work) + “Zeug” (stuff) = work-stuff

 

Spielzeug noun, German

  • toy

Literally, “Spiel” (play) + “Zeug” (stuff) = play-stuff

 

Fahrzeug noun, German

  • vehicle

Literally, “Fahr” (travel) + “Zeug” (stuff) = travel-stuff

 

Zeug is an amazingly useful word: it can be used to make words like “Rasierzeug” (shaving kit), “Schreibzeug” (writing materials), “Schulzeug” (school stuff)…it’s one of those patterns that is easy to remember after the fact, though it may not be intuitive beforehand. German is full of these, and it’s an endless source of amusement.

 

Enjoy your new words!

Cheers,

-H

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